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Facebook answers St. Louis man’s plea to see dead son’s “Look Back” video

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NEW YORK, NY (WPIX) -- A mourning father's plea to Facebook to see his deceased son's biggest moments has been answered.

John Berlin of St. Louis, Mo., uploaded a video to YouTube this week, making a plea to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team to gain access to his son's profile. His son, Jesse Berlin, 22, passed away on January 28, 2012. The video went viral on Reddit and PIX11 News helped connect the father and Facebook.

In the 1 minute, 24 second video titled "My appeal to Facebook," John Berlin fights back tears as he explains why he is sharing the video.

"You ever do something crazy because you just don't know what to do anymore?" he asks. "Well that's what I'm doing right now."

"I'm calling out to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. You've been putting out these new movies – these one minute movies that everyone has been sharing, and I think they're great," Berlin said, referring to the short, personalized videos the social networking site has generated for millions of its users, in honor of its tenth anniversary.

After seeing the video on Reddit, PIX11 News reached out to Facebook regarding the video.

Initially Facebook told PIX11 that they had been looking to contact Berlin and wanted to make the video happen.

"We have people working on it now," Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw told PIX11 Wednesday evening. Facebook had a phone number for Berlin, but hadn't been able to reach him. PIX11 then provided Facebook with four telephone numbers it had found in its research for Berlin.

Within 20 minutes, PIX11 received another phone call from Thaw saying they contacted Berlin and his wishes were being granted.

"The video will be ready either tonight or tomorrow morning," Thaw told PIX11 News.

Berlin told PIX11 that he was amazed that creating the video worked.

"I thought I'd just give it a shot," Berlin said.

Berlin also said that Facebook is now looking into helping other families who have lost loved ones.

The 62-second "look back" video notes the year you joined Facebook, then shows a handful of your most-liked posts and a seemingly random selection of your photos — all set to instrumental music.

By Andrew Ramos

24 comments

  • Shannon

    May god bless and keep you in comfort and peace! Who/where/how can I contact? I too lost my son in 2008 and would be eternally grateful to be able to see his look back video <3

  • Chris

    That is just wonderful…may God bless you and know what you have done fir soooo many others. ..My friend lost his wife a year ago… he would love that too…

  • Dee Nicholl

    How do I contact FB about this, my sister passed away last November & we are all still heartbroken trying to pick up the pieces, we don’t know her password so cant access her account ourselves, this would be great for her 2 daughters, us also, FB has well & truly stepped up to the mark on this one, lets hope they can do it for my darling sister & everyone else who has lost someone

  • Jeanice Weirich

    Thank you Facebook for helping all these people ! In wish in had !enough photos to have a photo file! Thank you again for great work

  • isabella

    Iam so glad facebook let you see it , when my son died , they closed his account , i couldnt even get his pictures
    i hope it helped you and your family seeing the vidio xx

  • Dee

    I also hope they gave him the sons passwords for FB so they can get into his account and enjoy all his postings and photos for the future.

  • Joan Toomey-Bland

    How fantastic for this wonderful, sincere father, that he may now view his son’s photos. May God bless him as he continues to treasure his son’s memories. Thank you, FB, for generously granting his wish, which will remain a beautiful blessing in his life.

  • dwilliams034@yahoo.com

    I would also like to know how to contact them regarding access to an account of a family member who has passed away. I would like to know or have it done for my sister who lost her 16 year old. Especially since the anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks.

  • Charles Kaufmann

    My daughter passed away 5 years ago and I have tried several times to get a reply from Facebook with no luck

    • sharon

      they mentioned in an article about this that facebook is considering privately sending these videos to other parents of deceased children. I hope your childs is one of them. So sorry for your loss.

  • Arleen

    Thank You Facebook people, that was the most awesome thing you all could do, Hope you all continue it with other people who NEED it.,

  • Ken

    So how do we get them to do it? My wife lost both of her Cousins last year and it would be a great thing. Lot of respect for this man reaching out like he did. Kodos to Facebook……

  • Maylee

    Awww well that was very sweet of Facebook to help this father out! I’m glad that he was able to get his son’s lookback video. :)

  • Margaret Isaguirre

    I’m so very happy for this family. ..i wish i could see my mother’s video..God bless you and all who have lost love ones

  • Jacqueline Carpenter

    this is the ultimate for you..Facebook did something right this time.Thank you Facebook.God Bless you and all your family.

  • Phyllis cooper

    I have my common law husband clifford Andrews and kellie cooper who passed away one dec 23 2012 and the other july 4 2013 I would like to get a video of there facebook pages please thank you very much

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